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Cloud services allow enterprises to outsource non-core aspects of their business to third parties. The complexity of the service provision eco-system may not be visible to an individual or business end user. However, it should ideally be possible to hold each provider accountable for how it manages, uses, and passes on data and other related information. As such, cloud service users may hand over valuable and sensitive information to cloud service providers without an awareness of what they are committing to or understanding of the risks, with no control over what the service does with the data, no knowledge of the potential consequences, or means for redress in the event of a problem.

The Cloud Accountability Project (or A4Cloud for short) focuses on the Accountability For Cloud and Other Future Internet Services as the most critical prerequisite for effective governance and control of corporate and private data processed by cloud-based IT services. The research being conducted in the project will increase trust in cloud computing by devising methods and tools, through which cloud stakeholders can be made accountable for the privacy and confidentiality of information held in the cloud. These methods and tools will combine risk analysis, policy enforcement, monitoring and compliance auditing. They will contribute to the governance of cloud activities, providing transparency and assisting legal, regulatory and socio-economic policy enforcement.

Latest articles

23 October 2015 by Massimo Felici

The Glossary of Terms and Definitions captures a shared multidisciplinary understanding within the EU FP7 Cloud Accountability Project (A4Cloud). It consists of the key terms that have been identified by the A4Cloud’s Accountability Conceptual Framework.

23 October 2015 by Alain Pannetrat, Jesus Luna

This paper examines the role of standards in the cloud with a particular focus on accountability, in the context of the A4Cloud Project (Accountability for the Cloud).

23 October 2015 by Brian Dziminski, Niamh Christina Gleeson

This paper explores the legal aspects of Cloud accountability which are being examined in great detail in the Cloud Accountability Project.

23 October 2015 by Maartje G. H. Niezen , Wouter M. P. Steijn

Five years ago, cloud computing was one of the top emerging new technologies, nowadays it is almost common place. This rapid introduction of cloud business models in our society coincides with critical questions on the cloud’s risks, such as security and privacy.

23 October 2015 by Philipp Ruf, Thomas Rübsamen, Christoph Reich

Nowadays there are many offerings of cloud services all over the world which have various security requirements depending on their business use. The compliance of these cloud services with the predefined security policies should be proven.

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